It’s not all bad news on the economic front.
Business activity in the Eurozone appears to have unexpectedly grown marginally last month, thanks in large part to rising exports helped by a weaker euro, and a strong performance from Germany.
The latest flash Eurozone Purchasing Managers Index showed positive contributions from the manufacturing and service sectors, with rates of expansion accelerating in both. Companies in both sectors indicated that output had been raised in response to increased levels of new work, including stronger growth of new export orders.
It was a sliver of good news in a day overshadowed by another slump in global markets on the back of weak manufacturing data from China. It also comes around a week after separate data showed that a slump in French manufacturing and construction dragged down the quarterly growth rate in the Eurozone.
Yesterday’s data showed mixed fortunes for the two biggest economies – Germany and France.
Manufacturing output in Germany rose to its highest in more than a year, which off-set data from France which showed manufacturing fell for a second month. Rob Dobson, economist with financial information firm Markit, which compiles the data, said the flash PMI suggests the Eurozone is still experiencing one of its best periods of economic growth and job creation during the past four years. “Stronger growth in Germany and outside of the ‘big two’ nations were the main growth spurs in August,” he said. “Particularly pleasing is the continuation of job creation seen in these nations, especially in the periphery where some countries are still struggling with double-digit rates of unemployment.”
However, indications that businesses are cutting prices at a faster rate to spur new business growth will be disappointing for the European Central Bank, which has been battling to bring inflation – at just 0.2pc in July – anywhere near its 2pc target ceiling.
Markit’s Composite Flash Purchasing Managers’ Index, based on surveys of thousands of companies and seen as a good guide to growth, rose to 54.1 this month from July’s 53.9.
The euro has lost around 8pc on the dollar since the start of the year.
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